These days, parents are spending more time at home with their children than ever before. The Pandemic has altered lives in ways few could have imagined. Children are known to thrive with an established routine. However, their usual day-to-day processes have been turned upside down because of the coronavirus.
But life is going to get better. And your children are resilient. So understand that it’s normal for children to experience stress, frustration, and sometimes anger. Here are some ways you can help your child adapt to these challenging times:
Parents should keep lines of communication open with their children. They need a safe space to talk freely and speak their thoughts on what they are feeling. You can start the conversation by asking them what they know and try to listen. You can ask the following questions and see how they respond:
These questions can help you better understand your child. Remain calm and speak with confidence when you talk to your kids. Give them good information, model good health precautions, and discuss how they can be part of the solution.
Creating a new routine for your children at home is beneficial to help them stay focused. Set up a wake-up time and bedtime, just as if they were going to school. During the days, you can assign chores and various activities, both educational and fun.
Although having a new routine is helpful, it is also important to make room for flexibility. If your child wants to try something that he or she doesn’t normally do, perhaps give it a try. Allow your child to explore and discover new things. Allow for creativity and new ideas.
It is normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed during uncertain times. However, taking care of yourself is essential so you are equipped to help your family. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This way, you’ll be able to give your children the support they need. Make sure you are sleeping enough to avoid irritability and do exercise to help with the anxiety.
During this pandemic, it is critical for your child to stay active and eat well. So try to limit the junk food while upping the activity fun factor. Sneak in those veggies where you can, but allow them the occasional treats they crave. And always try to get them moving. Create some activities. Play silly games. Have them help walk the dog.
Some people think that during the pandemic, you need to make sure your children are doing something constructive all the time. A piano lesson. Cleaning their rooms. Homework. That’s not going to happen. Give them a break. Try not to lose your temper. Everyone is in this struggle together and nobody is going to behave all time, especially your children. Shower them with love and affection and learn to accept the occasional meltdown.
Because children have to stay at home, they are more likely to play more online games and spend more time on social media. However, it is important to limit these activities as they can affect children’s health, especially in the long run. Try to be more involved in your children’s day. Spend time whenever you can. Get creative and ask your children what they want to do or ask for ideas on how to spend an enjoyable time together. It will significantly help in staying connected with your child.
Bottom line: Things aren’t perfect for you or your children. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the best of a tough situation. Look at the positive. Find lightness and joy wherever you can. Help your children, support your children, and love your children. And if you need help, reach out to friends and family for support.
During these uncertain times, please know that Children’s Medical Centers of Fresno provides quality healthcare to children of the Central Valley. Schedule your child’s appointment today!